The Allies for Student Mental Health is a professional development program that provides teachers, leaders, and school staff with the information and resources they need to support the mental health needs of their students.

Participants will learn how to work as allies to identify and understand the effects of mental health conditions and trauma, which can have a significant impact on students’ academic success and overall well-being.

This two-hour training was designed by NAMI Massachusetts and is available for any K-12 school in the state. Download an Allies for Student Mental Health brochure (pdf – opens in a new tab).

Learn More About Allies for Student Mental Health
Allies for Student Mental Health Presenters

Allies for Student Mental Health is presented by four speakers with unique perspectives and expertise:

  • Individual Perspective: A young adult diagnosed with a mental health condition will speak about his/her lived experience, with an emphasis on his/her experiences in school.
  • Clinical Perspective: A clinician, school nurse, or other medical professional will provide information about the prevalence of common mental health conditions facing children and adolescents. The speaker will then describe the signs educators should be on the lookout for. Additionally, information will be provided about trauma and the impact on students.
  • Educator Perspective: A teacher will offer ways to support student mental health within the classroom and school. The speaker will provide strategies, accommodations, and supports that teachers can use right away.
  • Family Perspective: A parent will share the struggles and successes that his/her child experienced in schools and will provide tips for communicating with families.
Program Curriculum

Allies provides practical, solutions-oriented information, including:

  • Information about mental health and trauma
  • Common signs and symptoms
  • Classroom accommodations
  • School-wide systems and supports
  • Tips for partnering with families
  • Resources and tools

Allies addresses key mental health topics and diagnoses, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicide
  • Eating Disorders
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
  • Conduct Disorder (CD)
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)
  • Trauma
  • Teacher Mental Health
Program Outcomes

Program participants report:

  • Improved ability to recognize signs and symptoms of common mental health conditions
  • Awareness of resources, tools, and strategies for educators, parents, and students
  • Enhanced knowledge about how to support students with mental health conditions or trauma histories•
Looking for resources related to children or education?

Check out our Resource pages.

You can also contact our Compass helpline. Learn more about Compass.

NAMI Massachusetts Compass Helpline logo
Volunteer with Allies for Student Mental Health

Volunteer as an Allies for Student Mental Health Presenter
Allies for Student Mental Health (ASMH) is presented by a panel of four trained speakers sharing from the perspectives of a young adult, clinician, educator, and parent.

If you are interested in becoming an ASMH speaker:

  1. download the ASMH speaker information brochure to learn more (pdf – opens in a new tab)
  2. download and complete the ASMH application form (pdf – opens in a new tab)
  3. email your completed application to Michelle Ward:
Contact us for more information about Allies for Student Mental Health

Michelle Ward-Gilles, Ed.M.
Division Director, Community Education & Outreach


Sarah Ford, MSW, MTS
Senior Manager, Community Education & Outreach